Well, here is the latest. Last month, just before the Safari Club International Convention, ZAWA cancelled Leopard Ridge's quota, effectively canceling their lease. Leopard Ridge promptly got a court injunction, staying the action by ZAWA. That released their quota and gave them the legal right to market safaris at SCI, which by all accounts they did quite successfully. As soon as the convention was over, however, news broke that Leopard Ridge owner Ross Michel- son had been deported. That temporarily appeared to sink the company. But then Ross Michelson's brother, Greg, announced that he has taken over the operation of the company. All safaris will be conducted as planned, he announced. Meanwhile, Ross Michelson let it be known that he is going to vigorously contest the deportation order.
This summary of events is current as of February 19. Who knows what will have happened by the time you read this. Rest assured we will have issued appropriate E-Mail Extra bulletins.
The upshot is, as this issue goes to press, I am not about to try to call the outcome of this fight, but I would not be doing my job if I did not warn booked clients that Leopard Ridge could lose this fight. I say that because I met personally at SCI with ZAWA Director General Dr. Lewis Saiwana; Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Kabinga J. Pande; and Walusiku Lisulo, ZAWA Board Chairman. It was clear in that meeting that Leopard Ridge, rightly or wrongly, is in the crosshairs of the government.